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National Science Foundation
A New and Better Way
Fall Predicts Winter
New Seasonal Forecast Model
model accuracy demonstrated
Classroom Resources
Germantown, MD: snowstorm. Click for larger image.

A snowstorm hit hard in Germantown, Md. in winter 2003. Click here for more information.

Credit: NOAA/NWS Historic Collection

Fall Predicts Winter
Insert info. Click for larger image.
A snowstorm buries cars in Baltimore, Maryland.

Credit: Bill Swartwout; www.SouthBaltimore.com

Researchers are taking winter weather forecasting beyond El Niño by investigating the relationship between Siberian snow cover in fall months, and Northern Hemisphere climate variability during the winter. A forecast model has achieved on-target forecasts for major cities in the industrialized countries.

"Weather affects peoples' lives and the global economy on a daily basis," says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in NSF's climate dynamics program. "Improving our ability to predict cold weather and heavy snow has obvious benefits. The success of these real-time forecasts offers a way to improve our ability to anticipate such important events."

Forecast Temperature Anomaly Dec-Jan-Feb 2017
Predicted winter surface temperature anomalies for the United States Dec-Jan-Feb 2016/17 in degrees Fahrenheit. The model is forecasting colder than normal temperatures for much of the Eastern United States with warmer than normal temperatures for the Western United States. The model uses October Siberian snow cover, sea level pressure anomalies, predicted El Niño/Southern Oscillation anomalies, observed September Arctic sea ice anomalies, and the predicted winter value of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. October Siberian snow cover advanced at an above normal rate during the entire month. This is an indication of an increased probability of a weakened polar vortex or a sudden stratospheric warming and a predominantly negative Arctic Oscillation during the winter, and cold temperatures, especially east of the Mississippi. This is the most recent forecast using the full monthly values for snow cover and sea level pressure anomalies. Forecast date: November 14, 2016.

Credit: Judah Cohen
Predicting Seasonal Weather A Special Report
Forecasted Temperature Anomaly. Click for larger image. Observed Temperature Anomaly. Click for larger image.